Principles of curriculum development

The term curriculum derives from the Latin word ‘currere’ which means a kind of route which the learner travels or “to run the racecourse.” The etymological history of the word “curriculum” comes from this Latin word. Thus, currere is fundamental for understanding the meaning of curriculum development. All the activities going on the school or outside of the school is called curriculum. It is the foundation of intellectual, physical, moral and emotional development of the child
“Curriculum” is a series of all those learning opportunities which are planned and carried out by a teacher and pupil’s working together.
The modern concept of curriculum was developed with the beginning of Twentieth Century.  This concept of curriculum is different from the old one.  According to the modern concept, “curriculum” is not the name of text book knowledge of factual information.  It is not a static-view but a dynamic one.
Now-a-days, “Curriculum is used for the whole environment in which a child is given education.  It is a series of all those activities which a school performs to organize students for physical, social, moral and spiritual development.  These activities are necessary for the development of the balance personality of the child.
Before designing the curriculum, it’s important for the curriculum developers to agree on the purpose and principles of curriculum development and also get feedback from all stakeholders. There is no right or wrong approach to curriculum design, but all stakeholders should be clear on the aims and objective behind their chosen design. Without these principles, the curriculum is set to fall short of imparting required learning experiences which the propose curriculum intend to do.
Curriculum is the backbone of any education system, without a good curriculum no nation can achieve quality in education. Curriculum effect all dimension of a nation e.g. education, economy, moral values etc.
  Therefore it is necessary for designing a balance curriculum to follow the principles of curriculum development. Curriculum organization is a scientific process which involves basic principles on which its credibility exists. It is not just collection of content and topics.  It reflects philosophy and culture of the society.
Principles of curriculum development
Principle of Child-Centeredness
Curriculum is mainly for the students. And the purpose of curriculum is to impart learning experiences at a particular age and grade level that suit their age and mental level so, the age, interest, capacity, aspiration, needs and psychology of the learner should be taken in to consideration.
  Principle of Community
The needs of community and the needs of the learner should be taken in to consideration while developing curriculum. It is reflect of the values of democracy and main concerns of the country.
The principle of comprehensive curriculum
  • The curriculum must have complete details of the subject material, aids, activities, and list of all topics and content, responsibility of teachers and students should be clearly stated what is expected of them.
Principle of Balance / Integration
·         The curriculum should be balance from all aspects; Cognitive, affective and psychomotor objectives. Child and society need, these should be related to the social environment of the students. Importance should be given to the need of the child and balance between Child and Community needs.
The curriculum should be environmentally centered
  • The content of the learning experiences for children should be linked to students’ needs and environment in which the student lives. The difference of rural area and urban area should be kept in mind while developing curriculum.
Principle of Need
·         Curriculum should fulfill all needs of the learner e.g. Physical, emotional and social development. It should not be just the academic but also other equally important activities too.
Principle of Utility
·         Curriculum should provide very rich experiences, academic and social to students, furthermore the activities, content, and experience of the curriculum should be useful to the learner.
The principle of practical work
  • The curriculum should have activities because children are very active by nature and they like activities, they like to do things by doing therefore curriculum should be designed in such a way that it provides maximum opportunity to the child for practical work.
Principle of flexibility,
  • The curriculum should be flexible Instead of rigid. The organization of the curriculum should be based on the individual differences because every child is different from the other. Therefore, a flexible curriculum will address the needs and aspirations of the society and students.

Principle of Creativity
The curriculum should have enough content which encourage discovery, experimentation and provision of creative type of activities.
Principle of Preservation/Conservation
It should help in the preservation /conservation and transferring of knowledge, traditions, culture and norms to next generation.
Teachers allow students to access the curriculum through independent, small group, and large group. Teachers use curriculum planning for appropriate levels which allow all students to develop their skills and understandings. Teachers co-construct curriculum with students, parents and colleagues to maximize expertise.
Curriculum evaluation is the method to analysis the outcomes of the educational aims and objectives of the school curriculum. Proper Implementation of curriculum in learning institutions is equally important as curriculum development. While developing curriculum, experts should also keep the implementation of curriculum in mind. They should be aware of the economic, laboratory and environmental conditions of the schools and the availability of time and proper resources available as required for the proposed curriculum.
The curriculum is the totality of learning experiences that a child learns during school activities in the school environment. A constant review of the school curriculum will reveal any useful and useless content or objectives. A frequent review of the curriculum subject oriented, examination is necessary and brings change according to the need of curriculum and learners, the learning content which is not in conformity with the aims and objective of the teaching, rigid and outfits, the difference of age group should be replace. So, it is the need of time in Pakistan that the present curriculum should be reorganized in the light of the principles of curriculum development mentioned above.